The chefs here can vouch how even a pinch of oregano is enough to take a dish to the next level of deliciousness. Oregano is a plant from the Lamiaceae family.
While it is known to be rich in antioxidants which reduce cough and inflammation in the body, its flavor is widely used in different dishes around the world.
Its rich and earthy flavor gives a beautiful kick to a variety of dishes ranging from curries to pizza.
Ground Oregano vs. Dried Oregano — What is the Difference and Benefits of Each?
Ground oregano is prepared by drying the herb and then grinding it into a fine powder. On the other hand, the dried version is in the form of flakes or leaves and is widely available in stores and shops.
You may come across different dishes asking for various forms of oregano. While some chefs prefer ground oregano, others use the dried version.
Difference Between Ground and Dried Oregano
Dried oregano and ground oregano are both different ways of using the oregano plant. Dried oregano generally refers to the leaves of the oregano plant that are left to dry and then crumbled roughly into small pieces. Ground oregano, on the other hand, requires some extra work to be prepared.
The leaves of the oregano plant are dried and then grounded into fine powder by using an herb mill. Many people use the herb mill to grind the oregano into a fine powder, while others leave it course.
Both the dried and the ground oregano has a similar flavor. However, grinding any kind of herb or spice releases more flavor making it more concentrated and intense.
Dried oregano has the same taste as fresh oregano and is not as intense as compared to ground one.
Benefits of Ground Oregano
Ground oregano can easily be made at home by grinding dried or fresh oregano. However, you can also buy it from any store. It is packed with flavor, and even a small quantity is enough to give your food the boost it needs.
Ground oregano is typically used in foods of Italian origin. Pizzas, pasta, meat and fish, and even dressings and salads have oregano flavoring as one of their main components. But the usage of ground oregano is not limited to a specific cuisine or region. It is widely used all over the world.
Many people like using oregano, along with other spices, for making a dry rub for meat and chicken. Others love adding ground oregano to their sauces and dressings for its peppery yet minty taste.
Ground oregano is typically used when you want the taste of the oregano but don’t visually like the presence of oregano leaves in your food.
Benefits of Dried Oregano
Dried oregano is the dried version of fresh leaves of the oregano plants. The dried version of the oregano has a more intense and potent flavor as compared to fresh oregano. While many stores stock up on dried oregano, it can easily be prepared in the sanctity of your house.
To prepare dried oregano, you can simply wash fresh oregano leaves to remove any dirt or bacteria from them. Next, you have to do is, place it in a dehydrator on the lowest settings for 6-18 hours. Keep checking the oregano to see if it is done. You can always use an oven if you do not own a dehydrator.
Oregano is widely used for aesthetic as well as flavoring purposes. Starting from pizzas and pasta, dried oregano is an amazing herb that is used in various dishes worldwide like chicken, seafood, sauces, etc., and even pesto.
Dried oregano is mainly used when you do not mind the appearance of oregano leaves in your food. In fact, the presence of leaves gives many dishes a unique aesthetic appeal.
How to Store Oregano?
Oregano, whether it’s the dried or the ground type, should always be stored in an airtight container. Make sure to keep your spices away from moisture and air to avoid the formation of clumps. Furthermore, an airtight container also ensures that no flies or bugs enter the spices.
Make sure that the container is kept in a cool place to avoid any bacterial growth.
Health Benefits of Oregano
Oregano, in all its forms, whether it’s dried, ground, or fresh, is great for the body. It is a natural antibacterial, meaning it doesn’t allow foreign bacteria to harm the body.
It also contains a wide variety of vitamins, including but not limited to fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin E. These vitamins naturally enhance the immune system. They are also essential for the normal functioning and metabolism of the body.
Moreover, oregano has many antioxidants which help reduce inflammation and limit the damage to body cells by free radicals.
Conclusion to Ground Oregano vs Dried Oregano
Dried and ground oregano both are used in cuisines for their delectable tastes. While ground oregano is more intense, dried oregano is used when one doesn’t mind the appearance of oregano leaves in their food.
Frequently Asked Questions to Ground Oregano vs Dried Oregano
What Is a Substitute For Ground Oregano?
While oregano has its own distinct taste and cannot be substituted, basil has the closest taste to ground oregano. In case of non-availability of ground oregano, one can use fresh or ground basil. Basil can only be used in place of oregano in Mediterranean cuisine.
Can Oregano Leaves Be Used Instead of Dried Oregano?
You can use oregano leaves instead of dried ones. However, dried spices and herbs have a more concentrated flavor. Hence, while substituting dried oregano with fresh oregano leaves, you will typically need more leaves than the recipe calls for. One teaspoon of dried herbs is equal to one tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves.
How is Mexican Oregano Different From the Usual Oregano?
The usual oregano is normally sourced through Italy and the Mediterranean region. This oregano contains more of a minty undertone. In contrast, Mexican oregano has a more citrusy flavor with an undertone of licorice.